Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Coconut Bars

Posted July 8, 2009

Coconut Bars
Adapted from Vegetarian Classics
Makes 16 bars

The original recipe calls for only 1/2 cup of chocolate chips but I used a full cup.  Because I am a chocolate person, I think it could have used even more but I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

The Crust:
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt

The Topping:
6 oz. Neufchatel (light cream cheese), softened
3 tbsp. butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 tbsp. flour
3 cups (about 12 ounces) sweetened coconut
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Lightly butter a 9×13 baking pan.

2.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until blended.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth and creamy.  Sprinkle in the flour and salt, and beat just until combined.  Scrape the batter into the prepared dish and use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly on the bottom.  It will be very thin.  Bake 15 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, make the topping using the same bowl and beaters (you don’t have to wash them.)  Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add the sugar, egg, and almond extract, and beat until combined.  Stir in the coconut.

4.  When the crust is done, spoon the batter into it.  Carefully spread it around to cover the crust evenly.  Bake 18-20 minutes, or just until the top off the batter begins to get a tiny bit of color.  Place on a wire rack to cool.

5.  While the bars are still hot, fill a medium-size saucepan halfway with water, bring to a boil, and remove the pan from the heat.  Place the chocolate chips in a small Ziploc bag and tilt the bag so the chocolate chips collect in one corner.  Lower the bag into the water, keeping the chips in the corner, and let them melt, about 2 minutes.  Squeeze the chips occasionally to see if they are melted.  Remove the bag from the water.  Keeping the bag tilted, snip off a very tiny piece of the corner.  Squirt the chocolate all over the coconut surface in an abstract pattern.  When everything is completely cooled, cut into bars.

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